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Saturday Fantasy Preview - Lions @ Packers

At some point, you really have to feel bad for our Midwestern neighbors across the lake (or in my case, due north). But let's wait until the game is over on Sunday afternoon. There's no mercy in football. A banged-up Lions squad that hasn't won at Lambeau Field in almost two decades is exactly the kind of team the Packers want to see after a sloppy, disheartening loss on Monday, and I don't expect this game to be close.

Anyway, Brandon does such a great job with the weekly previews that I'm going to mix it up a little this week. Instead of finding my usual off-the-radar matchup and player analysis, I'll switch gears and focus on the fantasy implications of this game.

Lions' Offense
With Jahvid Best banged up and Matthew Stafford out, the only serious weapon the Lions have on offense is Calvin Johnson. He's talented enough that he should be able to put up solid numbers regardless of who is throwing the ball, but that hasn't been the case yet. Frankly, it was my lack of creativity in finding an interesting matchup on this side of the ball that made me switch the focus of my preview.

WR Calvin Johnson - 14 points*
If the Lions score, Megatron will get it. I see 80 yards and a touchdown, purely on the basis of his talent.

QB Shaun Hill - 10
Well, somebody has to throw the ball to Johnson, right? 175 and a touchdown, with at least one INT.

RB Kevin Smith - 8
A formerly fantasy-relevant back, Smith appears in line to start this week thanks to Jahvid Best's turf toe. I'll say 60 yards on the ground and another 20 through the air.

K Jason Hanson - 7
Hanson is the strongest weapon on the offense not names Johnson, and at 72 years old (or something like that, I may be exaggerating), he somehow still has a strong leg. Two field goals and an extra point are all he can muster, though.

Packers' Offense
The Lions' defense is rough as well, especially in the secondary. I don't see the Packers' questionable running game posing a problem on Sunday, as Rodgers should be able to throw the ball at will.

QB Aaron Rodgers - 26
Rodgers has over 300 yards in each of his four starts against Detroit, so I see no reason that should change. 330 yards, 2 touchdowns, and another 30 yards on the ground

WR Greg Jennings - 12
I see Jennings breaking a few big plays after the catch and going for 125 yards.

WR Donald Driver - 13
Driver is one of Rodgers' top red-zone targets, and he gets a score and 70 yards on Sunday.

TE Jermichael Finley - 14
Finley has been wreaking havoc on defenses lately, averaging his number: 88 yards per game. I'll guess he's right on par with that, with a touchdown on a goal-line fade route.

RB John Kuhn - 4
The bulldog of the backfield will go for 40 yards or so, but won't find the end zone.

RB Brandon Jackson - 12
My bet is someone makes a play on the ground today, and I'll go with the quicker Jackson. While Kuhn will get more carries, Jackson breaks one for a score to go with 40 yards on the ground and a few grabs through the air.

K Mason Crosby - 12
Crosby will get his opportunities, and I'm seeing three field goals and three PATs.

That leaves me with a final game prediction of 30-13 in favor of Green Bay.

I hope you find this helpful in your fantasy matchups this weekend, and I hope even more that I'm reasonably accurate with my predictions so I can justify doing this again in the future.

* Scoring based on the following scoring system:
1 point per 10 rushing yards, per 10 receiving yards, per 25 passing yards
6 points per rushing/receiving TD
5 points per passing TD